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Whitley Bay Physio And Club Legend To Retire At End Of Season

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Whitley Bay physio Glen Martin intends to retire at the end of the season after 25 years in local non-league football

After 25 years in local non-league football, 13 of them, and around 650 games, at Whitley Bay, including three Wembley appearances, Glen Martin is calling it a day.

Sales in Tiger Balm could plummet!

The Seahorses physio has treated hundreds of players - me included - over the seasons, but is retiring at the end of this one.

He'll be a big miss.


The 59-year-old Glaswegian is a fourth Dan black belt in taekwondo, a larger-than-life character and hugely well-known and respected throughout grassroots circles. Over lunch last week with him and his very good friend Bruce Criton, Glen told me that his first club round here was Dunston Fed, where he spent four years alongside manager Peter Quigley and looking after the likes of ex-Newcastle United defender John Anderson and Gateshead's Paul Bryson.

He then went up to Blyth Spartans, where he worked with a real cross-section of bosses from John Burridge and Harry Dunn to Alan Shoulder, Paul Baker and John Charlton, big Jackie's son.

Glen said they were all smashing lads, and that 'Budgie' was, well, a wee bit different!

Following Charlton, he then moved down the coast to Whitley, and over the last 13 years he's become part of the furniture - the family, he calls it - at Hillheads.

That's where he played such an integral part in the club winning the FA Vase three seasons in a row.

Well, if you're going to treat a player on any pitch it might as well be Wembley!

Fortunately, while he got his big chance to live every physio's dream and run out under the Arch, it was never for anything too serious and he only recalls those times as having been amazing.

Terrific manager, he added, Ian Chandler.

Glen mentioned Terry Burke, Pauls Chow and Robinson and Lee 'Sparky' Kerr, as well. Good players, but great lads too, he said.

He mentioned chairman Paul McIlduff, David Styles and all the great committee folk, and secretary Derek Breakwell said: "Glen is a top man.

"He's been a great servant to Whitley Bay, doing a terrific job and we all enjoy his company and his crack.

"Glen will be sadly missed but I'm sure we'll enjoy a glass or two of red wine together before he retires.

"Everyone at the club wishes him well in the future."

Goodness knows how he'll fill it, and all that free time.

More martial arts, no doubt.

He's fit as a fiddle, big Glen.

He's also an incredibly positive chap, and it's been a pleasure to share his company, so I'd like to take this opportunity to echo Derek's sentiments and wish Glen good luck for whatever the future holds.

And by the way, Glen, the back's coming along very nicely, thanks!

www.icnewcastle.co.uk ( Paul Dixon)

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